Frequently Asked Questions
How does the budget process work?
The budget process starts in the early fall with department
heads and the SAU (School Administrative Unit) submitting
their budget requests. The appropriate board (Selectmen or
School Board) reviews requests and final decisions regarding
the budgets are made. The Selectmen and School Board submit
their respective budgets to the Budget Committee. The Budget
Committee will review the budgets and request any supporting
information they need to formulate a decision. In addition,
the Budget Committee holds public hearings for citizen's
to give their input. Once the public hearings are complete
the Budget Committee makes final adjustments and posts a recommended
The budgets are only recommended because changes
can be proposed at either deliberative session and voters
may accept or reject the budget on election day.
Ultimately, the budgets belong to their respective boards
and are bottom-line budgets. What this means is that once
the budget is finalized changes can be made to any item so
long as it does not increase the bottom line.
What happens if either recommended budget is
rejected on Election Day?
If one budget or both is rejected on Election Day then a
default budget is used. This default budget is determined
by the appropriate board with input from the Department of
Revenue Administration (DRA). The default budget is the prior
year's budget reduced or increased by debt service, contracts,
and other obligations previously incurred or mandated by
law, and reduced by one-time expenditures contained in the
operating budget. See RSA
The Selectmen or School Board can, at their option, call
one special meeting, without need for court permission, to
have one more try at adopting a revised operating budget
different from the prior year's. See RSA
The default budget must be disclosed at the first public
hearing held on the budget.
What is the ten percent rule?
As was discussed above, the budget can be altered at the
deliberative session. However, that alteration cannot exceed
the Budget Committee's recommended budget by more than ten